IRCI visited the Maldives (8–9 March 2023)

Director-General Mr Iwamoto Wataru and Ms Sasaki Kazue, a staff member of the International Research Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (IRCI) visited the Maldives during 8 – 9 March 2023 to develop its cooperative partnership through the project “Sustainable Research Data Collection for ICH Safeguarding: Focusing on Central Asia and Small Island Developing States”, and to grasp the current situation on intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in the country.

IRCI first visited the National Center for Cultural Heritage (NCCH), which is a focal institution of this project, and discussed with Director-General and Ms Zaha Ahmed the preparation for the said project, the progress of efforts for ratifying the 2003 Convention, the current situation of safeguarding intangible and tangible cultural heritage, and the human resource development. They are eager to participate in the project that enables them to compile information related to ICH in the Maldives and make it accessible through the IRCI research database. They expect the project to be useful for researchers and students not only in the Maldives but also all over the world, because it provides information with English summaries. They also shared the current research trend on cultural heritage including ICH in Maldives and issues and challenges in carrying out the project.

With NCCH’s generous arrangement, IRCI was also able to visit various organizations related to ICH, such as the National Museum, Maldives National University, National Library, Dhivehi Bahuge Academy (Language Academy), and Maldives Archives, to grasp their activities, publications and digital materials on ICH, and challenges they face in safeguarding ICH. IRCI also had an honor to meet with Her Excellency Ms Yumna Maumoon, Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage, who agreed on the importance of heritage education and building public awareness on safeguarding heritage.

Through these meetings, IRCI was able to understand the current situation and issues on ICH in Maldives, and confirmed that these organisations will be able to cooperate with NCCH, expecting this project to be mutually beneficial.

  • Visit to Her Excellency Ms Yumna Maumoon, Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage (8 March 2023)

  • A meeting with researchers and staff of the Dhivehi Bahuge Academy (Language Academy) (9 March 2023)